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Journal Article

Citation

Olsavsky AK, Stoddard J, Erhart A, Tribble R, Kim P. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Affiliation

University of Denver, Department of Psychology.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Oxford University Press)

DOI

10.1093/scan/nsz069

PMID

31680141

Abstract

Face processing in mothers is linked to mother-infant social communication, which is critical for parenting and in turn for child development. Neuroimaging studies of child maltreatment-exposed (CME) mothers are sparse compared to studies of mothers with postpartum depression, which have suggested blunted amygdala reactivity to infant stimuli. We expected to see a similar pattern in CME mothers. Based on broader studies in trauma-exposed populations, we anticipated increased amygdala reactivity to negative adult face stimuli in a comparison task in CME mothers given heightened evaluation of potential threat. We examined maltreatment-exposed (CME) and unexposed (NE) mothers (18-37 years old), who performed infant (N=45) and/or adult (N=46) face processing tasks. CME mothers exhibited blunted bilateral amygdala reactivity to infant faces. There was no between-group difference in amygdala reactivity to adult faces. In infant and adult face processing tasks regardless of CME, superior temporal gyrus activation was increased for negative-valence stimuli. Our preliminary findings suggest that childhood maltreatment alters maternal processing of infant social cues, a critical skill impacting infant socioemotional development.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.


Language: en

Keywords

amygdala; childhood maltreatment; face; infant; mother

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